FIDO: The Lightweight Lifesaver

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Christophe Galan, Global Development Director at Mirola Rescue AB, presents FIDO: the innovative, compact, and efficient solution for emergency oxygen needs

Oxygen is a critical drug in emergency medicine, widely used for patients with acute breathlessness. However, traditional oxygen delivery systems pose significant challenges for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and military operations globally.

Approximately 34% of all ambulance patients receive oxygen during transit, but the existing systems are cumbersome, heavy, and inefficient. This inefficiency necessitates multiple cylinders, which are impractical in field deployment. The recent pandemic has further strained oxygen supply chains, highlighting the need for a more resilient and efficient solution.

Rebreathing innovation

Mirola Resue AB, a Sweden-based MedTech R&D firm established in 2016, introduces FIDO, a revolutionary closed-circuit oxygen rebreathing device. FIDO, weighing only 1.5 kg, is designed to replace outdated free-flowing oxygen systems with large cylinders.

The patented Mair re-breathing technology allows FIDO to deliver 60 minutes of oxygen using just a 0.4-litre cylinder, compared to the conventional 5 to 10-litre systems. This compact and efficient device can be deployed in less than 30 seconds, making it ideal for use in-field, prior to hospital admission. FIDO is patented, medically certified (CE IIA), adheres to ISO 13485 standards, and its cylinder is approved for air transport.

FIDO is a designed to be a game-changer in pre-hospital oxygen treatment as potentially administered by fire and rescue teams in emergency scenarios, offering numerous advantages:

  1. Portability and Ease of Use: FIDO’s lightweight design and quick deployment capability make it highly suitable for use in various demanding environments.
  2. Military Application: It addresses the challenges faced in military scenarios, such as field hospitals and battlefield medic kits, by offering a lightweight and quickly deployable oxygen source.
  3. Rescue Operations: Ideal for fire, marine rescue, and mountain rescue, FIDO overcomes the limitations of carrying bulky oxygen cylinders.
  4. Medical Settings: In paramedic kits, ambulances, and emergency rooms, FIDO offers a smaller, simpler, and more reliable solution, reducing reliance on extensive oxygen supply chains.

Post-pandemic impact

The pandemic has spotlighted the need for effective solutions for acute breathlessness. With ongoing supply chain challenges and the rising costs of healthcare outpacing GDP growth, there is a growing market demand for innovative solutions like FIDO. This demand is driven by the need for operational efficiencies and the desire to move away from traditional, cumbersome oxygen delivery systems.

Christophe Galan, Global Development Director at Mirola Rescue AB discusses the development of an innovative lightweight O2 rebreather that utilises an extra-small cylinder, specifically designed for emergency and rescue scenarios.

What inspired the creation of FIDO?

FIDO was inspired by the curiosity of our inventor, a seasoned diver, who wanted to adapt the rebreathing system used in diving for emergency and rescue operations. What sets FIDO apart is its entirely mechanical design, eliminating the need for electricity or batteries. It’s lighter and more compact, offering an hour of oxygen treatment from a 0.4-litre oxygen bottle. FIDO can deliver 52% to 89% adjustable oxygen levels and produces warm, humid air (about 33 degrees Celsius and less than 95% humidity) for the patient.

FIDO uses O2 very efficiently, employing a significantly smaller oxygen bottle without compromising quality or output.

Can you explain FIDO’s benefits in various rescue scenarios?

FIDO introduces the rebreathing system, commonly utilised in the marine world, to medical applications. Prior to FIDO, no medical devices efficiently conserved oxygen. FIDO addresses this challenge by fully recycling and purifying oxygen, removing CO2 through a limestone cartridge. Certified at the highest medical device standard by CE, FIDO is versatile and dependable. Utilising oxygen very efficiently, it employs a significantly smaller oxygen bottle without compromising quality or output.

FIDO is employed in field hospitals, aircraft, battlefield conditions, emergency and rescue medic kits, as well as on naval ships and vehicles. Its reliability and efficiency have led to adoption by several European special forces units, and it is also NATO registered.

Which specialised units are using FIDO?

FIDO is extensively utilised across various prehospital emergency and rescue units with broad applications, including land-based and aerial rescues. It plays a crucial role in mountain, water, and diving rescue operations, as well as with the GRIMP (recognition and intervention group in perilous environments).

FIDO proves particularly valuable in scenarios where oxygen is not readily available or where optimising weight, space, and operational duration is crucial, such as on rescue boats or helicopters. Its lightweight and efficient design make it an ideal choice for emergency and rescue units undertaking diverse prehospital rescue missions.

How does FIDO fit into the current emergency and rescue landscape?

FIDO addresses a significant challenge in the emergency and rescue field: the impracticality of traditional oxygen bottles due to their weight and limited treatment duration. This often leads to emergency and rescue units forgoing them on many missions. FIDO, being more manageable at 1.5kg and efficient, ensures the availability of oxygen even in hard-to-access situations.

It has already been used in diverse contexts, including covering sports events in the civil sector, with applications such as helicopter extractions of injured athletes and operations on navy boats, as well as with the GRIMP (recognition and intervention group in perilous environments). Its utilisation by special forces further underscores its versatility and reliability in various emergency scenarios.

Could you share any future plans for FIDO’s development?

A recent discovery has expanded FIDO’s potential uses, revealing its effectiveness when paired with Aerogene for treating asthma patients. This development is particularly significant considering the large number of asthma cases, with over 8 million in the UK alone.

It indicates that FIDO could be a valuable asset in responding to asthma-related emergencies. Additionally, we are in the process of developing a new ventilator that will incorporate FIDO’s patented technology, further extending its applications and benefits in the medical field.

For any information, please contact Christophe Galan at [email protected]

This article was originally published in the February 2024 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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